Once upon a time in a town called Colorado Springs, it rained, and rained and rained. It rained so hard and for so long, that many people’s basements flooded, and ceilings and windows leaked. Moans of despair could be heard across the land! The flooding left many carpets soaked….and gasp, also became the perfect storm for dreaded “mildew” to grow. Which is gross.
If this didn’t happen to you during our last round of rainstorms, chances are you know someone who it did happen to – and you can add my family to the list.
I woke up on Mother’s Day morning to a flooded basement. Thankfully, we were able to salvage much. We moved furniture and used our wet vac to soak up excess water. We basically wet vac’d for 3 days straight. It finally started to dry up, and then the terrible smell started…mildew. It creeps up on you when you least expect it, and the stench takes up your whole house. It was awful.
I wanted to avoid insurance claims and expensive restoration companies, so I did what any mom would do and turned to Google. Thankfully I found lots of good info, and I am happy to say we are well on our way to a stench-free home! If you are still struggling, I hope these tips will help you too.
1. Wet vac what you can, and get all portable fans going in the area to help circulate the air and dry the room.
2. RUN to your nearest Home Depot and purchase a couple containers of DampRid. This stuff is amazing. You pour these magical crystals in to a container, set it in the middle of the room, and they absorb ALL the excess moisture in a couple days. The product is also child and pet friendly. It’s $9.99 a container and totally worth it!!
3. After everything begins to dry out is usually when the mildew will hit, and trust me, you can’t miss it! You may not see it, but you will definitely smell it! This is when you bust out a vinegar and water solution. Here’s the lowdown:
Vacuum the area
When everything is dried out vacuum the heck out of your carpet, paying special attention to the smelliest areas.
This recipe is super easy and super effective. Get yourself a clean, empty spray bottle and combine one cup of vinegar with 2 cups of warm water. Get spraying! Spray all over the carpet with a little extra attention to particularly smell areas, and let it sit for about 10 minutes. You will probably notice a difference in the way your room smells right away. Follow up by using a sponge or washcloth and vigorously rub the solution in to the effected areas.
Stick to the 1 part vinegar 2 parts water formula, adding more vinegar will just end up making your room smell like vinegar. Also, don’t over saturate your carpets with the solution, excessive moisture will just risk the formation of new mildew deposits!
Apply baking soda
After your carpet has dried from the vinegar solution, sprinkle baking soda over the area, let it sit for 20 minutes and thoroughly vacuum. Your carpet should now smell good as new! In some cases, you may have to repeat the process twice, but it’s worth it.
Note: obviously some cases will be much worse and will require a restoration company. We were lucky we only had an inch of water to deal with and our walls were not effected. Use your best judgment, and good luck!